Statement from Rep. Michelle Caldier on governor’s sectional veto of Senate Bill 5160 providing rental assistance

On Thursday, April 22, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed two key sections of Senate Bill 5160 that would have provided needed assistance to landlords who have not received rent from indigent tenants.

Section 12 of the bill provided that until March 31, 2022, the state Department of Commerce must provide rental assistance directly to a landlord for indigent tenants unable to receive other services outlined in the legislation.

Section 13 would have appropriated $7.5 million through the next biennium to the Department of Commerce for a new landlord assistance program to provide grants to eligible landlords for rent that was not paid during the eviction moratorium extension enacted by the governor’s proclamation, 20-19.6, on March 18.

Section 13 was negotiated and inserted in the bill as Amendment 654 by Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard, ranking Republican on the House Housing, Human Services and Veterans Committee. Caldier has issued the following statement:

“I worked directly with the governor’s Department of Commerce to help landlords when the tenants are not cooperative or don’t qualify for available rental assistance. I find it odd that the governor has vetoed language his own agency provided to me and that I worked in good faith to have added to the bill.

“It’s been a very difficult year for those who have been under the governor’s eviction moratorium for more than a year. Nearly 76,000 tenants across the state are in arrears with their rental payments. The assistance provided under these sections would have made them whole again and would have given them a fresh start. These parts of the bill were integral to fixing the damage the governor caused when he unilaterally declared an eviction moratorium last year.

“Governor Inslee’s punitive actions through these sectional vetoes leaves both property rental owners and their tenants high and dry once the eviction moratorium ends June 30 under this bill. Our tenants and landlords across the state of Washington deserve much better. Now is the time to help them, not punish them.”


Washington State House Republican Communications